Cairns Catholic schools carry cross of Cyclone Larry

Six months after Cyclone Larry ravaged ten out of twenty six Cairns diocesan schools, life is returning to normal thanks in part to generous donations from Catholic schools around Australia.

For Catholic Education in the Diocese of Cairns, Cyclone Larry was a natural disaster of even greater proportions, according to a Cairns diocese report.

The diocese has a total of 26 schools, with around 9200 students. The ten schools affected comprise over 1800 students and 300 staff - around 20 per cent of the diocesan system as a whole.

Even though media interest in the recovery period may have ceased, the tasks of rebuilding communities - expected to be at least two years - have not.

Carmel Ross, Cairns diocesan director of Catholic Education, says that the communities are grateful for the support and financial assistance from Australians from around the country.

"Over the last month we have been steadily processing more than 300 donations from Catholic schools around Australia," said Ms Ross.

"We now are able to tell the donors how their gift was spent," she added.

"The generosity that has been witnessed mirrors the kind of love God gratuitously bestows on us - love that expects nothing in return other than the betterment and well-being of the other person".

In a small system, this is a very considerable number of schools to have concurrently encountering significant financial and pastoral needs, according to the statement.

Catholic Education has received over $220,000 to date.

Photo: Damage by Cyclone Larry in March to seven schools in the Cairns Diocese was significant, as this photo of Good Counsel School in Innisfail shows.

Goodness, Generosity, Gratitude (Cairns diocese, 22/9/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Diocese of Cairns

Donations roll in after Cyclone Larry (10/4/06)
Cyclone bolsters General Cosgrove's Catholic faith (CathNews 31/3/06)
Queensland schools launch appeal for cyclone victims (CathNews 24/3/06)
Cyclone-struck diocese prays for victims (CathNews 23/3/06)
Vinnies to support areas worst hit by Larry (CathNews 22/3/06)

25 Sep 2006